The Bandeirante is Alive – Meet the Brazilian Land Cruiser

Land Cruisers produced in Brazil, equipped with a Mercedes-Benz engine and called Bandeirantes?! What started with a perplexing photo in Uruguay grew into a fascinating story in Brazil. In 1984, Toyota Japan stopped producing the famous Land Cruiser 40-series and with it ended the era of a truly venerable 4×4. As Coen likes to say, “Our BJ45 is the last of the Mohicans.”

What few people know is that in Brazil, the production of the 40-series continued until 2001. In 1959, the first Bandeirante, as the Brazilian version is called, rolled off the production line. People are still debating what gave the vehicle its name. Speculations are that the word ‘Bandeirante’ is somehow related to the words ‘land cruiser’ or ‘pioneer’ in Portuguese.

We, for one, didn’t know all this when we started out on our Landcruising Adventure in South America, and in fact a particular red BJ45 pickup in Uruguay had baffled us for quite a while. According to a Uruguayan law you can’t export antique cars and as a result, the country is a living museum of vintage cars varying from wrecks to show pieces in mint condition… read more >

Downey Off Road Manufacturing 1975 F/B Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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